Women are already given so many titles in this world; mother, grandmother, aunt, wife and sister. In addition to this, they were also given the title of “Housewife”. As Angela Davis discusses in “Women, Race and Class”, women are told to cook, wash dishes, do laundry, make the beds in the morning, sweep, go shopping and much more. On top of all this, women are also supposed to be a wife to their spouse as well as take care of a baby, if any. This can be exhausting for women, especially if they don’t receive any help from their spouse. These are all expectations placed on women from the beginning of time.
The idea of a housewife has become much more prominent because of the fact that men believe housework is only for the women to do. Most men in society believe that women are supposed to stay home, while they go out and make money, and come home to a cooked meal at the end of the day. I’m pretty sure if you ask most men to do certain chores such as laundry, they probably wouldn’t know where to start. But why does it have to be this way? Why can’t men pick up the broom or do the laundry every once in a while, why does it always have to be the women? I believe that men are just as capable of getting housework done, just as a woman is able to do all that and more. I also believe that if men were to help with the chores around the house to keep it clean and tidy, it would give the women a break, a breather. It would also help them feel like they are appreciated by their spouse. I believe the “housewife” title restricts the idea that women can be more than just that. Women can be lawyers, doctors, nurses, electricians, just to name a few, but because of this specific title, they aren’t seen as being capable of becoming that.
In today’s society, the title of “housewife” often comes with a negative meaning behind it and has changed since being used during the Industrial Revolution. There is a look of disgust when a woman mentions that she is a housewife, they see her as idle or may think that her spouse is rich, which allows her to be one. Some women have children, take leave and then resort to being a housewife, instead of going back to work. However, in today’s society, we see women that balance the idea of being a housewife and having a regular job. This helps bring extra revenue into the household, instead of it always being the husband. I also believe that many more women in today’s world are independent and don’t want to depend on a man for money, making them more motivated to go out and work. For one, I aspire to be a woman that doesn’t need to depend on a man for anything, whether married or not. I don’t wish to hear a man try to belittle me either, as to only being a housewife and nothing more, as well as think he has more authority over me because they bring home the money. I can’t speak for all men, but luckily, there are some men who help their wives with chores around the house and don’t leave it all to them. In all honesty, I wish the term “housewife” wasn’t a thing because it degrades women’s capabilities as a wife, especially since the word came from a man.
Davis, Angela Y. Women, Race & Class. Vintage Books, 1983.